“I had been lured to Alabama by opportunities”: Tyler Buchner reveals falling into “emotional hole” after getting benched by Nick Saban

NCAA Football: Alabama at South Florida
NCAA Football: Alabama at South Florida

Tyler Buchner has had quite an interesting journey in collegiate sports. After initially playing football for Notre Dame and Alabama, Buchner transferred back to the Fighting Irish to play lacrosse this spring and won a national championship.

Following his victory, Notre Dame posted a letter dedicated from Tyler Buchner on their website, where the 21-year-old recalled his time under Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide.

In the letter Buchner wrote about how he was 'lured' to Tuscaloosa for the opportunity to play for the seven-time national championship-winning head coach.

"You see, I had been lured to Alabama by opportunities that glistened like gold in the Southern sun", Buchner wrote.
"As a 20-year-old, the ache of leaving behind the Fighting Irish was overshadowed by the pull of the transfer portal and the promise of playing for one season for Coach Saban as the next logical step towards playing in the NFL."

However, Tyler Buchner was benched after starting just one game, and Jalen Milroe was named the starting quarterback for the rest of the season. Buchner wrote about how that decision impacted him emotionally and left him feeling 'devastated'.

"I got the green light to start in the third game of the season and had the best week of practice of my career leading up to it.
"Unfortunately, I played poorly and was benched for the first time in my life by Coach Saban on ESPN. I was devastated and fell in to a deep emotional hole. What I had been working on so hard for all these years felt like a pipe dream."

Tyler Buchner announces return to football

In the letter, the lacrosse national champ also announced that he will be playing football for the Fighting Irish. But this time, he will be a walk-on wide receiver rather than a quarterback.

Buchner expressed his gratitude to coach Marcus Freeman for the opportunity to play football again. He had played for Notre Dame for two seasons before transferring to Alabama in 2023.

"Notre Dame has always been a place of faith and redemption, but I never imagined the extent of its generosity until the day Coach Freeman allowed me to rejoin the team as a walk-on," Buchner wrote.

During his two seasons with the Fighting Irish, Tyler Buchner tallied 949 passing yards and six touchdowns. It will be interesting to see how he performs in his new role as a wide receiver.

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